Isabel Allende on Refugees, Poet Jose Bello Detained by ICE, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

In May, poet and activist Jose Bello was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement less than two days after he publicly recited a poem condemning the immigration system. Now the ACLU of Southern California has brought a First Amendment claim on Bello’s behalf, noting that his arrest less than thirty-six hours after his reading “strongly indicates” that the arrest was an act of retaliation. (PEN America)

“I didn’t plan to write about refugees, but the conversations are all around us, and it just seeps into my books.” Best-selling author Isabel Allende talks to Publishers Weekly about her new novel, Largo pétalo de mar (A Long Petal of the Sea), and her own experience of immigration.

Following last week’s Democratic presidential candidate debates, the New York Times examines the “politics of love” of candidate and self-help author Marianne Williamson.

“What’s been so exciting to me is going into spaces where there are people who say, ‘Oh I’ve always been bad at poetry,’ and I say, ‘No, this is our original language.’” Tracy K. Smith speaks with Scotland’s makar, Jackie Kay, about their respective experiences as national poet laureate. (Guardian)

At the New York Times, ten Asian American novelists—including Soman Chainani, Malinda Lo, and Marie Lu—share young adult fiction written in response to photographs from the paper’s archive.

“I think the element of being unseen and unheard is one of the most painful things that human beings can experience.” Lisa Taddeo on making female desire visible in her new nonfiction book, Three Women. (NPR)

If literature loves misery, where does that leave happy endings? At the Los Angeles Review of Books, John Farrell considers the possibility that “many of us are dystopians at heart”—at least in our reading preferences.

And NPR charts the rise of the poetry podcast and its ability to provide what poet and former podcast host Saeed Jones describes as “air pockets to catch our breath.”